New Divers looking for Key Largo advice

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Wife and I are getting OW cert in Curacao next month. Planning next trip for AOW cert in Ft Lauderdale over Thanksgiving. After spending 2 months lurking on Scubaboard.com, I see 2 of the popular resorts/dive outfits in Key Largo are Amoray and Marriott with Rainbow Reef. Cost are similar, anyone have comments on the experience with these 2 outfits? Being new, I like the idea of having a DM/Guide (for extra fee) with Amoray
Rainbow Reef seems to be a well oiled machine. Can any of the more experienced divers give me some advice thinking back when you were brand new and which one of these outfits you would recommend?
Thanks!

Side note, will not have car so dive operation on site is key
 

PoolsOpen

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My advice....

Just enjoy some shallow dives, and practice some diving when u visit Ft Lauderdale, reefs are in the 30 - 40 ft range and they have several wrecks in the 60 to 70 ft range. Perfect for OW divers.

Then when you go to Key Largo, do your AOW with Rainbow Reef. You cannot beat the price and packages including hotels.. My teen sons did AOW with them and I joined also for Nitrox class and was very happy with their service.
 

Dan G

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Wife and I are getting OW cert in Curacao next month. Planning next trip for AOW cert in Ft Lauderdale over Thanksgiving. After spending 2 months lurking on Scubaboard.com, I see 2 of the popular resorts/dive outfits in Key Largo are Amoray and Marriott with Rainbow Reef. Cost are similar, anyone have comments on the experience with these 2 outfits? Being new, I like the idea of having a DM/Guide (for extra fee) with Amoray
Rainbow Reef seems to be a well oiled machine. Can any of the more experienced divers give me some advice thinking back when you were brand new and which one of these outfits you would recommend?
Thanks!

Side note, will not have car so dive operation on site is key

I just had a great experience diving with Horizon Divers. We paid for a guide because my dive buddy's cert is OW and they require a guide for OW divers on their wreck dives. Every guide we had was great and I found the whole op well run and friendly. They have a boat that goes to a shallow reef every AM and every PM, too.
 

Catito

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Wife and I are getting OW cert in Curacao next month. Planning next trip for AOW cert in Ft Lauderdale over Thanksgiving. After spending 2 months lurking on Scubaboard.com, I see 2 of the popular resorts/dive outfits in Key Largo are Amoray and Marriott with Rainbow Reef. Cost are similar, anyone have comments on the experience with these 2 outfits? Being new, I like the idea of having a DM/Guide (for extra fee) with Amoray
Rainbow Reef seems to be a well oiled machine. Can any of the more experienced divers give me some advice thinking back when you were brand new and which one of these outfits you would recommend?
Thanks!

Side note, will not have car so dive operation on site is key

We (Floridians) always stay at the Marriott and dive with Rainbow Reef. Publix grocery is right down the road…and reasonable restaurants within walking distance. Rainbow Reef offers
reasonable prices. Nice crew. The deep wrecks are the most fun down there.
 

dorsal

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Give the folks at Rainbow Reef a look. Lots of boats and options. They put a guide in the water with each boat which is a plus for newer divers.
 

Jcp2

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Rainbow seems to be having some problems with being well oiled and handling reservations in a timely manner at this moment. Maybe it’s because a lot of people are getting active and they are still trying to staff up to catch up. It took over a week between making a reservation on the phone and getting a confirmation email, despite their assurance that they would send one right away. Because of other tight scheduling constraints I ended up making plans with other operations that responded and confirmed right away. Hopefully that will resolve by the time you plan to go, as I’ve heard many good things about them and wanted to try them out.

It’s true that the hotel package deals are pretty good but without a car how do you plan on getting to Key Largo? There are lots of other interesting things to see and do and places to eat if you have a car, as well as many more dive operations to choose from.
 

Skeptic14

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I'm headed down to Key Largo/Tavernier for 2nd annual trip.

I contacted 3 ops this time before booking with the same op I used last year. I'm repeating because it was night and day the customer service and responsiveness of Brenda at Conch Republic compared to the other 2 ops which included RR.
 

CajunDiva

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As beginners in 2004, we chose to complete our AOW certifications with Rainbow Reef Dive Center. We were incredibly happy with the level of service we received and have been diving with them for the past 18 years.

It is well worth checking into achieving your AOW certification with RRDC, as your dives (including tanks, weights and treats) will be included with the course. They also offer free dives with certain purchases through their retail store. Guides are in the water with you on each dive. Rainbow Reef can get you really good hotel prices if you book with them.

We have NEVER been disappointed!
 

rob.mwpropane

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I concur with the suggestion of Rainbow Reef in Key Largo.

Aren't you a captain?.....@ Rainbow Reef?:poke: :)

I'm going to go against the grain a little, and maybe it was just a bad day or the fact that I do not like a lot of people in the water (so my personality might be ******). I like smaller boats. 6 tops, Horizon, Quiescence, and Conch Rebublic all fit the bill. Rainbow Reef felt a little rushed, and lots of people. Maybe it was just me that day.

RR was punctual and accommodating, the people were great, just too many divers on the boat.
 
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